Fiscal deficit improves to 88% of budget estimates in April-December

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Reflecting an improvement in government finances, the fiscal deficit in the nine months of 2015-16 worked out to 88% of the annual target as against 100.2% in the same period last fiscal.

In value terms, the April-December fiscal deficit stood at Rs 4.88 lakh crore, or 88%, of 2015-16 Budget estimates (BE). This is an improvement over the year-ago period as the deficit then stood at 100.2% of the 2014-15 BE.

The improvement is mainly on account of buoyancy in tax collections, which have kept revenue deficit in check.

The fiscal deficit — the gap between the government’s expenditure and revenue — for 2015-16 was pegged at Rs 5.55 lakh crore for the whole year in the Budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in February.

As per the data released by the Controller General of Accounts, tax revenue came in at Rs 6.22 lakh crore, or 67.6 % of the full year BE of Rs 9.19 lakh crore.

Total receipts from revenue and non-debt capital of the government during the first nine months read Rs 8.25 lakh crore. The government estimates Rs 12.21 lakh crore receipts at March-end of 2016.

The government’s Plan expenditure during the period was Rs 3.45 lakh core, 74.4 % of the full-year BE.

During the same period last year, the government had managed to achieve 61.3 % of Plan expenditure estimate.

The non-Plan expenditure in April-December of 2015-16 was Rs 9.68 lakh crore, or 73.8 %, of the whole-year estimate.

The total expenditure (Plan and non-Plan) stood at Rs 13.13 lakh crore as against the government’s estimate for the current fiscal at Rs 17.77 lakh crore.

The revenue deficit during the nine months came in at Rs 3.22 lakh crore, or 81.7 % of BE for 2015-16.

For 2015-16, the government aims to restrict fiscal deficit to Rs 5.55 lakh crore, or 3.9 % of GDP.

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